NEWPORT BEACH (CBS) — The Newport Harbor High School basketball program has been suspended after the coach and his wife — who also works at the school — were allegedly threatened with physical violence.
The school’s principal, Michael Vossen, wrote an E-mail to parents that has since been published in the Daily Pilot. He told parents the program was being suspended while the Newport Beach and Huntington Beach police departments investigate the allegations.
Vossen said the school was cooperating fully with the investigation into threats made against coach Larry Hirst and his wife, Sheridan, a teacher at the school.
Hirst, who coached the Newport Harbor team for the past four years, has stepped down as head coach saying it was time to go. He’s also announced his retirement after 28 years of coaching (Southern California College, Edison.)
Vossen called Hirst a “really good coach” and blasted people he said crossed “the lines of civility.”
The coach declined to outline the specific threat or threats but said they involved physical violence aimed at him and his wife at both school and their home.
The principal promised that the person or persons who made the threats would be “prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.”
The Daily Pilot reported that Hirst took a leave of absence this past January when the team was mired in a 10-game losing streak on their way to a 7-17 season. He had taken three other leaves in the past four years, according to the Pilot.
Students told KCAL9’s Edward Lawrence that some of the threats were apparently scrawled on Hirst’s car.